Trip Planning for Lionhead Range

as of 5:00 am
Today0″ | 25-35 SW
Nov 25 0″ | 15-25 SW
Nov 24 3″ | 10-30 NW
8775′  11/26 at 16:08
25℉
W - 17mph
Gusts 32mph
7750′   11/26 at 16:00
30℉
12″ Depth
Bottom Line: Gusty westerly winds drifted this week’s new snow into cohesive slabs which are ready to avalanche. Unfortunately, these drifted areas also have the best coverage for skiing or riding. Don’t get lulled into poor decisions while trying to avoid rocks. Carefully consider and evaluate both the snowpack and the consequences of triggering an avalanche before riding steep slopes.
Primary Problem: Wind-Drifted Snow

Past 5 Days

Mon Nov 15

None
Fri Nov 19

None
Mon Nov 22

None
Wed Nov 24

None
Today

None

Relevant Avalanche Activity

Bridger Range
Saddle Peak
Natural on Saddle Peak
Incident details include images
Saddle Peak
SS-N-R1-D2
Elevation: 9,000
Aspect: NE
Coordinates: 45.7943, -110.9360
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

From obs. 11/10:  "Fitness skinning around Bridger Bowl yesterday and noticed a fairly large, new avalanche on the east face of the North peak of Saddle. Maybe 100 feet below the ridge, about 100 wide at the crown, ran thru the rock bands but not over the cliff. Was taken back by the clean propagation." -Albert


More Avalanche Details
Bridger Range
Naya Nuki Bowl
Skier caught in slough in the The Great One
Incident details include images
Naya Nuki Bowl
L-ASu-R1-D1.5-S
Elevation: 9,000
Aspect: N
Coordinates: 45.8883, -110.9590
Caught: 1 ; Buried: 0

From e-mail 11/7/21: "Today, my partner and I set out to ski The Great One, with a plan to come up and over Sac Peak and then walk the ridge to Naya Nikki before skiing the Great One into Airplane Bowl. We found more snow than expected at the TH, about 6inches. On our way up to the pass just north of Sac we noticed the characteristic wind stripping down to scree on the trail to the pass. On one of the switch backs we were able to get about an 1-2” deep wind slab to propagate but not move down slope. Given the depth, we didn’t put too much stock into this. We proceeded to walk the almost snow free trail over to Naya Nuki before booting down to the top of the Great One. The skiers left side of the Couloir had some obvious wind load and after a few ski cuts felt comfortable continuing to ski. After my partner skied the majority of the top section, I followed and was entrained and taken for a slide in my own ‘slough’. I was carried about 40’ before I stopped, while the slough kept running for another 100-150’ arresting on the shallower angled slope before the break in the Couloir wall that feeds into Airplane Bowl. The entrained width of moving snow was about 3-5’ wide. There were no injuries, and we continued down to the base of the Couloir, deciding it would be more dangerous to try and go back up to get out. Once in airplane bowl we saw multiple large slides that ran last night, syn-storm. Most of which came down from the East face of Sac. A few 200-300’ wide and running the length of the bowl. Early season hubris, and is not even thinking about overnight wind totals has us more or less absent minded when we set out this morning. A mistake that could’ve been a lot worse if the slough had taken a larger wind pocket with it, and carried me over the same aspect that led to the fatality in the Great One last fall. No pictures of the slough, attached is a grainy cell phone pic of the slides in Airplane Bowl."


More Avalanche Details

Relevant Photos

Displaying 1 - 5
  • Snowcover on Lionhead ridge begins at about 7,000' in elevation on 11/16. Snowmobiling or skiing from Targhee Pass looks very thin and patchy. Photo: GNFAC

  • Taken on 11/16, consistent snow on all aspects begins around 7,000 feet. 1.5-2 feet of snow is found above 8.500'. Photo: GNFAC

  • From e-mail 11/7/21: "...Once in airplane bowl we saw multiple large slides that ran last night, syn-storm. Most of which came down from the East face of Sac. A few 200-300’ wide and running the length of the bowl.,,, attached is a grainy cell phone pic of the slides in Airplane Bowl." -Anonymous.

  • From email 11/4/21: "...noticed two small wet loose avalanches in the east facing bowl between Pomp and Hardscrabble Peaks." Photo: H. Darby

  • From e-mail 11/4/21: "Hiking up in the Bridger Range from Sacagawea Pass and noticed no faceting of the current snowpack. The snow near the pass and on the ridge is very wind affected as is to be expected and dropping into the bowl on the east side of the Pass the snowpack there has a distinct sun crust. Dug around a little bit at 8600 ft on a NE aspect and found a sun crust of about two inches with what felt like rounded grains below that. Even in the direct sun, the crust was taking a long time to rewarm and was pretty slippery..." Photo: H. Darby

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Snowpit Profiles- Lionhead Range

 

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Weather Forecast Lionhead Range

Extended Forecast for

10 Miles WNW West Yellowstone MT

  • This
    Afternoon

    This Afternoon: A 20 percent chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 29. Southwest wind around 14 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow

    High: 29 °F

  • Tonight

    Tonight: A slight chance of snow before 10pm, then a chance of snow after 2am.  Mostly cloudy, with a steady temperature around 24. West southwest wind 9 to 11 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 30%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow

    Low: 24 °F

  • Saturday

    Saturday: A 30 percent chance of snow, mainly before 9am.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 28. South southwest wind 8 to 11 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow
    then Mostly
    Cloudy

    High: 28 °F

  • Saturday
    Night

    Saturday Night: A 20 percent chance of snow after 11pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 24. Southwest wind 11 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow

    Low: 24 °F

  • Sunday

    Sunday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 29. South southwest wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.

    Mostly Cloudy

    High: 29 °F

  • Sunday
    Night

    Sunday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 23. South southwest wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.

    Mostly Cloudy

    Low: 23 °F

  • Monday

    Monday: A 20 percent chance of snow after 11am.  Partly sunny, with a high near 33. South southwest wind around 14 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow

    High: 33 °F

  • Monday
    Night

    Monday Night: A slight chance of snow before 11pm.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 20. South southwest wind 10 to 14 mph becoming west after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 18 mph.

    Slight Chance
    Snow then
    Partly Cloudy

    Low: 20 °F

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 27.

    Mostly Sunny

    High: 27 °F

The Last Word

Doug was interviewed by Justin Angle for Montana Public Radio about his background, avalanches, and his work in Central Asia. You can listen to the interview HERE.


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